Initial weekly unemployment claims plunged to 264,000 from 287,000 a week ago.

“This is the lowest level for initial claims since April 15, 2000 when it was 259,000,” the Department of Labour noted.

This was also much lower than the 290,000 expected by economists.

This brought the 4-week moving average down to 283,500, the lowest level since June 10, 2000.

“It is rare for new jobless claims to maintain a pace below 300k for long — a signal of a still-strengthening labour market,” UBS’s Sam Coffin said.

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